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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : blogsold : verde heritage May 25, 2016

Verde Heritage
By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ
Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Thursday, March 14, 2013

1924: JOE HALL; New Building; Jailed March 17.

Verde Heritage

Joseph R. Hall purchased the Tucker chili stand behind the hotel and opened for business as Joe's Chili Stand in August, 1917. He built a 2-story building at 1004 N. Main, with a rooming house upstairs and opened downstairs as Hall's Grill on Thanksgiving day. Buildings on the west side of Main Street burned December 3, 1917. Then Joe's Chili Stand building was moved onto the lot and used as a restaurant and cafe. (see: The Verde Independent; "1917: COTTONWOOD BUSINESSES;" December 2, 2012; and "1917: COTTONWOOD FIRE REMEMBERED;" December 10, 2012.) The old building was replaced in 1924.

"The Farley-Osborn Transfer people have ... moved ... a building about 20 feet wide and 40 feet long from the Jerome Superior mine to Cottonwood on their big truck and trailer. Charles Osborn chauffeured and Bill Allen acted as elevated pilot. Charles Lax and Joe Hall, for whom the building was being moved, acted as scouts and lookouts. Quite a crowd of people gathered in Cottonwood to witness the placing of the house [at 1004 North Main] between the Ed Wilson barber shop and the Verde drug store. This makes six houses that Joe Hall has brought to Cottonwood on wheels and there are many more yet to be brought in in that manner. Hall has about 24 houses at the two mines and will be moving them for some time to come." (Verde Copper News; Jerome; Friday, March 7, 1924; page 4, columns 5, 6.)

"BEAUTIFYING BUILDING: Joe Hall has Stewart and Hood employed in putting a new front, a new floor and a set of booths in the building he moved to his Main street lot. The building will be ready for the painters in a very short time and will make a creditable addition to Main street." (Verde Copper News; Friday, March 28, 1924; page 4, column 3.) This building burned April 20, 1925.

Joe Hall and William McMahon had a "Near Fatal Accident" when the still blew up about May 1, 1923. The arrests were not made until October. (see: The Verde Independent; "PROHIBITION, 1923, Two Men Scalded by Exploding Still;" October 12, 2012.)


"Prohibition enforcement officers descended on Cottonwood on Sunday and effected one of the most important captures made in the county for some time. They raided a still, said to be the property of Joe Hall, and run by Ed. Moe."

"The still was found in a lonely spot across the river, a little more than a mile and a half from the town, where a small shack had been built in which the illicit distillery was housed. It is said that the place is almost inaccessible and is comparatively unknown even by people living close to it."

"A RICH HAUL: The officers, who were assisted by Deputy United States Marshal Rudd, arrested Moe, who was on the premises when the raid was made, and seized the still, 13 barrels of mash and 32 gallons of the finished product. A great quantity of raisins and sugar was also found on the place."

"The still was destroyed as were the mash barrels and other equipment."

"HAD CLOSE MOUTH: Moe was asked for whom he was working but refused to make any statement. He was removed to one of the cars and the officers removed all traces of the raid and waited for another victim to put in an appearance. Their wait was profitable, for Joe Hall appeared soon afterwards, loaded with coal oil for the furnace and other supplies. He expressed some surprise and distress when he found the neat job of destruction the raiders had done. He and Moe were both taken to Prescott last night."

"It is believed that this still has been the source from which much of the bootleg liquor sold in the valley towns has been coming and it is hoped that its destruction will have a good effect --- at least to the extent of limiting the available supply of mulo blanco."

(Verde Copper News; Tuesday, March 18, 1924; page 1, column 3.)

Several years later, Sheriff Ruffner and his deputies would make one of the largest raids of the season. By then E. A. "Big Slim" Moe was in charge of the Hall pool room. Initial reports were that 300 gallons of whiskey (tested 130 proof), 100 gallons of wine, cases of beer and equipment were seized. Apparently, some of the alcohol evaporated before trials began in federal courts arising from this raid.

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